Monday, March 26, 2007

Author: Matthew Hick

Car manufacturers tout their efficiency. Consumer advocates dispute claims of 60-plus miles per gallon gas efficiency. Amidst the controversy, environmentalists still claim, in the absence of anything better - that hybrid vehicles are still better for the environment than their traditional gas-guzzling counterparts.

Hybrids, known for the way they combine both gas and electric power to offer a cleaner ride, have come under fire in recent months for their inability to reach gas mileage milestones set by the manufacturers. Critics say that most fail to live up to claims of getting more than 60 miles to a single gallon of gas. Advocates argue that recent studies confirm the same is true for efficiency ratings set on traditional engines, still making hybrids the better deal environmentally.

Toyota Prius - Toyota's hybrid car

Touted as the gas-saver of the future when introduced in 1999, hybrids are known to use a fraction of the gas due to their ability to "share the burden", with their electric motors. Full hybrid vehicles allow the electric motor to work independently of the more traditional internal combustion engine, while driving at low speeds. This in turn saves gas, and stops harmful emissions from entering the atmosphere. During an idle stop, a full hybrid actually shuts itself off, letting the electric motor take over to eliminate unnecessary idling and emissions.

Consumers should be aware, however, that the mild hybrids focus remains on traditional gas consumption, with the electric motor only assisting the gas engine at high speeds when more power is needed, thus making the mild hybrid much less environmental friendly than its full hybrid counterpart.

Great for in town drivers, the full hybrid allows slow speeding drivers to virtually use only the electric motor, thus saving even more gas, and eliminating harmful emissions into the environment.

Despite any controversy surrounding today's hybrid vehicles, consumers seem eager to do what they can to decrease the harmful effects of emissions on the environment and save a few bucks at the pumps. Production of hybrid vehicles has tripled in the last four years, with production expected to double in 2007. The Yano Research Institute Ltd. estimates that by 2015, nearly 5.37 million hybrid vehicles will be on the global road, compared to less than one million last year.

Manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon, with Honda, Toyota, Ford, Lexus and Chevrolet, all offering their own hybrid varieties. Newer models sport higher-powered and faster models, even making hybrid SUV's and trucks available to the consumer. Of course, the heavier the vehicle, and the faster it rides, the more gas it is bound to use, despite the use and size of the internal electric motor.

Still, hybrids remain the most gas efficient and environmental friendly vehicles in mass production today.

This article was found at

About the Author: More Hybrid Cars Environment Articles at Get Your Own Successful Niche Website Network at Make Extra Money at Home with

posted by med
1:03 PM

15 thoughts...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Author: Tom Watson

The Digital Era is here to stay and we are in the midst of the staggering developments that it produces. Results for any inquiry a person desires reveals itself in a single mouse click or the use of a cell phone. It is no wonder nearly everybody seems to be in a hurry, in an attempt to keep up with lightening speed technology.

Let us not forget the past decades, when the evening news was the main broadcast of current events. There was also the news of the hour on your favorite radio station, or, I should say about every half hour. Oh wait, that is still popular, if you are listening to the radio instead of your iPod.

It used to be beneficial to always carry loose change in your pocket. Not only could you provide your fellow man with change for a dollar, but you also had coins to use in a payphone in case of emergency, or at least, make an urgent call. Hey, forget those days. Use your digital cell phone. Much quicker. So is a text message.

Yes, I know. People still carry pocket change for other reasons, while they also carry checkbooks. Some of these people have also discovered the digital convenience of debit cards. I cannot imagine many of them wanting to write checks anymore.

The Information Superhighway, in the opinion of this author, is probably the best invention in modern times since peanut butter and jelly. Yes, the Internet has not only changed your life or mine, but has affected life as we know it on the whole planet earth.

Access to information is instantly obtainable. Communication to anywhere in the world is accessible right there on your keypad. And a great big thank you to the Digital Era, you can also shop anywhere you desire from your computer.

The Digital Era has also come to terms with photography. Not many of us need film for our cameras any more. A memory card will do just fine, thank you. It is smaller, holds more photos and they can be downloaded on your computer. Really. Yes, you get your photographs much quicker this way.

Please, do not assume this article was written in any disdain for the Digital Era we live in. If you need to, please classify this writing as a rant at a possible reason why everybody feels the need to rush through every activity of their day.

Time travels fast enough without us helping it along. So slow down and consider our digital inventions as tools to enable convenience in our lives, or perhaps as rewards to our intelligence as we progress into our technological future.

As your life may seem to go too fast, remember, you can capture the quick precious moments on your memory card, with your digital camera, upload them on your computer and email them to your friends and family. Make use of our Digital Era because it is quicker this way.

This article was found at

About the Author:Tom Watson is the owner of In Digital Photography, a website with tips, information and ideas in photography, promoting the digital era. He welcomes you to visit his website at

posted by med
12:56 PM

3 thoughts...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Author: Donna Grisanti

Before starting the exciting journey of writing a novel, check the true level of your enthusiasm. In an informal survey of writers, the “why are you considering writing a novel” factor strongly affects the success of completing the “how to write” factor. On average, writing a novel is a 2+ year task, which requires a strong positive attitude that you’ll not only start the novel but you’ll also have the drive, passion, and belief in yourself and the project to see that adventure through to completion. Your motivation must be very strong -- always thinking of interesting plots, characters or things you want to write about, as if you can’t help yourself; longing to put everything down on paper or computer screen. Bridging the gap between thinking and writing is as much an artistic adventure as the finished manuscript.

If novel-writing isn’t near the top of your life goals or objectives list, perhaps you need to reconsider the size of your writing project (change to short stories or articles) or investigate honing separate skill sets necessary to novel writing (plot formation, character development, dialogue and setting). Learning novel-writing is a process, so there’s nothing wrong about starting in increments and building small success upon small success. Taking the task in manageable chunks, with your goal of a novel in mind, brings confidence and possible pages ready to be incorporated in the final product -- your novel.

In gaining information about learning the craft of novel-writing, not every author, article or writing class will benefit you, just like everyone doesn’t like every type of food. But they do have the advantage of “getting published,” so accept and discard advice advisedly. You’re still the amateur. Fortunately, the Internet, libraries, bookstores and writing groups are no-cost or low cost sources of gathering useful information which can help, or convince you, of proper technique in your efforts to learn (or get back on the right track) in your writing.

Authors need a clear idea of their story as a foundation for their task. Do you know what you want to write about? What genres do you read or do you have favorite authors? Although you are not limited by your answers nor should you slavishly “mimic” another author’s style, your responses might help you identify or hone your original idea to begin the process.

Before starting, determine the “success” quotient of the idea for your novel. It must interest you, in order for you to spend the time and effort to write well, but, most importantly, it must be able to interest others, in a fresh, entertaining way. Always keep in mind, there’s a lot of competition out there for a reader’s time. The adversaries are the quality and availability of the 24/7 stories in broadcast and cable television and Internet as well as print media. So you have to craft the idea well and carefully; the potential reader of your novel is very busy and very sophisticated. Ask people who aren’t “yes men” for a critical analysis of your idea to ascertain if the idea is clear, manageable and gripping.

Now, the plot plan is next as you try to think of mixing the characters, settings and situations into a pace that will keep your reader entertained and entwined with your characters; wanting to turn the page or not wanting to turn the nightlight out before bed. Like an extension ladder whose rungs allow the worker to climb in incremental steps, the plot and subplots, must, overall, direct the reader in a cogent path to the last sentence.

In real estate where the watchword is location, location, location, the other necessary part inherent the best plot plan is conflict, conflict, conflict; by which the reader is able to see and experience the change in the characters and situations. With so many other books on the shelf or manuscripts begging to published, what attributes set your plot plan above the rest?

With the idea in the forefront, a writer turns attention to time span, setting and characters. The writer has the final say, of course, but for the first effort consider things you already know in your work, pastimes or hobbies because you must be completely knowledgeable in these areas. Research, especially time span and setting, are crucial in determining the accuracy of your writing which cascades into your plot, dialogue and believability of the characters themselves. Be expert without being boring, redundant or preachy. Accuracy in your research flows into the writing, which gains the trust of the reader; proving your words have the same beauty and excitement as watching a professional musician, athlete or actor.

Setting a schedule to gain information on how to write and actively writing are two more critical action steps. Perhaps you can’t write every day but commit to a realistic number of hours per week, if you are not enrolled in a writing class. A “learning” writer is just like anyone trying to become skilled at a profession or craft -- it takes time, effort and sweat.

“Birthing” each page, scene or chapter may be painstaking, but writers have to be willing to be tough on their work, but not too tough. Again, show your work to trusted critics, writing group members or editors, if you can afford them. Give close attention to their critiques and carefully gauge the consistent areas they feel you need work. Polish those, so you can stop problem areas before they become unfortunate habits. Judicious “sculpting” early makes things easier in the long run and impresses editors and publishers as well.

Writing can be anything in-between a lonely landscape of you and a white page getting larger and larger in its blankness or the sheer joy of words flying from your ideas faster than you can get them down. Care, preparation, a clear idea and plot plan can help push things into the latter category. Don’t get discouraged. Good luck.

Copyright © 2007 Donna Grisanti

This article was found at

About the Author:
Donna J. Gristanti is a Tucson, Arizona based fiction writer. Wandering Hearts, her first published novel, was written over a five year period. A former senior nursing administrator, she now divides her time between writing, family, and church.

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posted by med
7:56 AM

1 thoughts...

Friday, March 16, 2007

I believe that this movie is one of the best that 2007 has to offer. This movie is definitely going to be on my dvd collection.
The actors' performance was excellent - The battles were so overwhelming. It was a good representation of the historical battle with a little hollywoodian exaggeration of course. The scenario was taken from the comic book of Frank Miller's 300 which is based on the historical information that historics had about the battle of HotGates in 480BC.
This wasn't the first battle of Greeks against Persians. In 490BC in the battle of Marathon, 11.000 Greeks defeated an army of 60.000 Persians who they lost more than
6.000 soldiers and Greeks lost 192 men only.
In 481 BC king Xerxes, influenced by General Mardonios and the fallen king of Sparta Dimaratus, marched with his army against Greece. For four years all Asia was shocked by the military preparations of Xerxes. Thousands of men from different nations of Persia where recruited. Eshilos, a Greek writter of that period, wrote that when Persia marched against Greece, almost no adult male was left behind. Herodotus calculates the Persian army around 2.500.000 men. Also, Xerxes sent messengers all over Greece to find allies and join forces.

Greeks who expected that Persians wanted to take over Greece, had already started their
preparations. In Athens, Themistokles built war ships and managed to make Athens, the top naval force of that time. The military force that Greece gathered at HotGates was 6.000 soldiers and among them were the 300 spartan soldiers of Leonidas, King of Sparta. This military force was concidered a small one and it was going to be reenforced as soon as the Olympiad of August 480BC had ended. There is a possibility that, that military force was concidered enough due to the nature of the territory at HotGates which was really narrow and could be guarded with a small force. On the other hand, the army of Xerxes couldn't be deployed in such a way that could threaten the safety of the Greek army.

(Persian helmet)

King Xerxes sent a horseman to calculate the force of the Greek army and to observe Greek soldier's habbits. Before the king left from Thessaly, he had learned that a small body of the Spartan army had been assembled, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, descendant of Hercules. The Persian horseman approached the camp and made a careful inspection of the area and the Greek troops, but only those that were outside the gates. That moment, he noticed that some of the Spartan soldiers were exercising while others brushed their hair. The Persian spy was surprised and looked at them very carefully then he returned at his camp. Although Spartans noticed the spy, noone made any effort to arrest him or interrogate him. The Persian spy mentioned what he had seen to King Xerxes. The Persian king was so surprised that he called Dimaratus and asked him about it. Dimaratus informed him that Spartans whenever they went to battle, always took care of their hair and bodies and that they were the strongest force of Greece. Xerxes still wasn't pursuaded by Dimaratus and thought that within days, the Greek troops would retreat when they'd learned about the number of the Persian soldiers.

(King Leonidas of Sparta)
During the first day of the battle, Persians attacked three times the Greeks, one of which was made using the famous army of Immortals under the leadership of Idarnes but
all attacks failed due to the smart way that King Leonidas acted in the battlefield. In the beginning, the spartan soldiers moved towards the enemy lines, then they retreated giving the impression that Persians had scared them and then with a deluded and quick move they attacked the Persians that hunted them. It is said that during the attacks, King Xerxes stood up in his throne three times fearing for his army.

At the second day of the battle, King Xerxes was embarrassed seeing all his attacks made by his elite forces fail against Greek troops. At the night of that day, an inhabitant of that area, traitor Efialtis told Xerxes about a secret path behind Greek army, the Anopean passage which was guarded by Focean troops. When the Foceans saw the Persian army, they abandonded their weapons and left. This way, Xerxes's army - 10.000 immortals under the leadership of Idarnes - in an abrupt move, circled the Greek forces.

At the third day, King Leonidas was informed in time about the Persian army behind their lines. He knew that death was imminent for him and his army so he gathered the allied troops and sent them away. He and his 300 spartan soldiers were left at the HotGates along with 700 Thespians who volunteered to support King Leonidas's spartans and 200 soldiers from Thebes who were kept against their will. Leonidas moved all the men he had outside the walls and placed them in a phalanx formation in order to kill as many as he could. When the battle started, Greeks knowing that they would die in this battle fought with bravery and strength and had gone past themselves. Persian generals had to whip their soldiers to force them to go to battle against Greeks. King Leonidas was one of the first casualties of this battle. It is said that a great battle took place for his dead body but at the end of the main battle there was no Greek soldier left alive.

King Xerxes had won the battle but with great casualties. He had also lost his two brothers. On the other hand, Greeks gained a moral victory. The HotGates became the eternal symbol of sacrifice and debt for the defence of homeland and of the big ideals.

Distinguished spartan soldiers were Diinekes (the one that when he heard about the numerous persian arrows that would cover the face of the sun, replied that this was good news because they would fight in shade) , Alfeos and Maronas sons of Orsifantis.

Distinguished Thespian soldier was Dithiramvos, son of Armatides.

Spartans placed a sign over the tomb of the 300 soldiers which said :
"Go tell the Spartans, passer-by,
That here, obedient to their laws, we lie.".

(King Leonidas actual statue)

Source :

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posted by med
7:32 AM

1 thoughts...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Author: Jim Christian

Starting a Business Shouldn't Mean Breaking the Bank

So you've finally realized you need an office... a place designed to help you work faster and more efficiently. A place to help your little business grow. Key phrase: little business. You need an office but being the smart businessperson you are, you realize that your resources need to go back into your business leaving little extra to put together the elaborate office of your dreams. Don't worry. Here are five key tips on how to save money when setting up an office:

Invest in a scanner instead of lots of filing cabinets. Filing cabinets are inferior in a few ways. They take up a lot of space, they don't properly secure documents, and you are often enticed to either throw out documents once the cabinets are full-or buy more cabinets. You can buy a high-quality scanner for much less and store your documents, invoices, receipts, even business cards more securely. A scanner is worth it.

Choose an ultra-efficient desk. Avoid an oversized desk that will invite clutter. An efficient computer desk-like the affordable and easily customized Versa Center at Versatables-will make a difference in your productivity. The beauty of the Versa Center is that you add to it only the pieces you need, so all of your equipment is at your fingertips and each has a place. Forget a printer on a printer table half way across the room. Add a printer platform to your Versa Center and avoid getting up and down every time you need to print a document or load paper.

Stop wasting paper. Add a platform or stacking bin to your desk for paper that you intend to recycle. You know... all those pages that come out with only the header or the url printed on the top? Flip them over and use them again. Wasting paper and ink, as well as the general wear and tear on your printer, will make a difference over time.

Cut down on office products. Walking into an office supply store and becoming mesmerized by aisles of blue highlighters happens to everyone. Don't let it happen to you. Think of your workspace as if you were a college student trying to fit only the necessities into your backpack. You don't need 24 colors of highlighters. You need one. You don't hundreds of pens. You can always buy more later. Buy only the items you absolutely need and then replenish your stock when they go on sale.

Go basic. For everything you buy, someone will be offering an upgrade. Say no. As wonderful as it would be to have the script lettering on your checks instead of the basic print, you don't need it. You don't need the dual espresso machine just in case you'll want nine back-to-back espressos on a night you end up working late. Buy for the here and now, not the possible exception. You can always upgrade later, and the less you spend, the better you'll feel about replacing your older items with nicer ones when you're in a better position to afford them.

This article was found at>
About the Author:

Looking for affordable Computer Furniture that will look good and last a long time? Like many of you I was tired of going to IKEA. I found and got a greaty deal on Office Computer Tables for my home.

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posted by med
2:57 PM

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Author: Sarah H

When building a house, it is important that a home owner studies the effects of the sun on his future home. He should carefully study the path way of the sun's progress and its effect of heat and light on the rooms in the house. Many home owners build their houses negligent of this fact and then after moving in realize that the sun creates much more heat than expected within certain rooms of the house.

Thus when designing the floor plan these are significant elements to take into consideration. Remember when constructing try to minimize locating the high traffic rooms in direct line of the sun's travel. Many home owners by using this approach are able to enjoy the magnificence of the sun setting without the heat and glare of the direct sunlight.

Perhaps the best designed houses are known for use of the physical setting and the natural landscape surrounding the house. Many home owners tend to forget the fact that the setting of a house embraces not only the immediate surroundings but also the distant views. A house can boast of a thousand times more beauty than another simply because of the surrounding natural features on the land. The occurrence of flora and fauna coupled with the way the sun rises and sets over a house certainly lends a home aesthetic splendor!

For a home owner, understanding how the land and the house work in accordance with the sun's movement can be done simply by studying the sun's daily path. Additionally, one should pay particular attention to the window location in the rooms as they stream light and heat indiscriminately into the rooms of a house. Generally a home that is in harmony with its environment is open to sunshine and breeze, yet it protects and shades the residents because of thoughtful interior design.

This article was found at

About the Author:
Discover more great tips at a website offering tips and resources on matters like kitchen decorating ideas , bedroom decorating ideas and even plastic storage containers to fit any budget.

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posted by med
2:12 PM

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